Smith & Wesson’s big announcement at the show was something concealed carriers have been asking after for years now: An M&P Bodyguard 380 with no manual thumb safety. This would perhaps have been a much bigger announcement than it was, had the company released the product in 2012, rather than 2016. The fact is that those looking for a pocket .380 handgun – those who just can’t live with a nigh-useless manual safety, that is – have so many options to choose from at this point that the safety-less Bodyguard won’t be terribly exciting news for most.
Smith & Wesson’s execution of the no-manual-safety model (? What do we call this thing? The “less-safe” model? The “safety-free” model – wait, no, not that) leaves a little bit to be desired, as well. One might expect that after six years of their customers (past and potential) clamoring for a Bodyguard with no manual safety, they would spring for new frame molds, but that’s not so. The, um, dingusless model uses the same mold as the old manual-safety-equipped M&P Bodyguard, with the addition of a plastic insert. Maybe one could rationalize this decision as meaning that Smith & Wesson could ship conversion kits to owners of the original models, except A.) There’s no reason they could have done that anyway and B.) Who would spring for a conversion kit when they could just, y’know, not use the gun’s safety?
Bizarrely, S&W is offering the new model with the same integrated Crimson Trace laser that requires you to lay the gun flat on a table and hit the activation button with a punch to turn it on – a decision made even more baffling by the existence of grip-activated triggerguard-mounted Crimson Trace lasers for the laserless Bodyguard. MSRP on the model without laser is $379, while the one equipped with the impossible-to-use laser is $449.